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CANADA

Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development


NUMBER 052 
l
3rd SESSION 
l
40th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1535)  

[English]

     I'm going to call the meeting to order.
     Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we're going to continue our study of the Canadian and international disaster response and the situation in Haiti.
    I'm sorry for the confusion. There was going to be a motion passed or discussed quickly, but Mr. Reid is not here, so we'll go ahead with our witnesses. Then we'll look at trying to deal with that between this meeting and the next meeting, when we talk about Sudan.
     I want to thank our witnesses for being flexible. Thank you once again for being here.
    We have Mr. Mike Cabana, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who is the Assistant Commissioner of Federal and International Operations. Thank you, and welcome, sir. We also have, from the Correctional Service of Canada, Marty Maltby. Welcome as well.
    Do you both have statements today? Who would like to go first?
    Mr. Cabana, why don't we have you up first for 10 minutes, and then we'll get to Mr. Maltby's statement after that.
    Thank you, and welcome.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I don't think I'll be taking the full 10 minutes.
    Thank you very much, honourable committee members, for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss Canada's policing contribution to the United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti, commonly known as MINUSTAH.
    My discussion is going to focus on the events following the earthquake of January 12, 2010.
     Since 2004, over 500 Canadian police officers, representing federal, provincial, and municipal police services, have been deployed to MINUSTAH as UN police officers, otherwise known as UNPOL. Under the Canadian police arrangements--the CPA--the RCMP has funding to deploy up to 100 Canadian police officers to Haiti.

[Translation]

    UNPOL in Haiti are primarily mandated to assist the Government of Haiti with ensuring a more secure and stable environment by monitoring, restructuring and reforming the Haitian National Police.
    They are also responsible for assessing and identifying current training standards and needs of the Haitian National Police, providing specialized assistance during evacuations and disasters such as earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, as well as security during elections.
    Essentially, they assist with a wide range of activities to restore and promote public safety and the rule of law.

[English]

    The devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, resulted in the deaths of more than 220,000 Haitians and 102 UN personnel, sadly including two of our own Canadian police officers from the RCMP, Chief Superintendent Doug Coates and Sergeant Mark Gallagher, who lost their lives that day as a result of the destruction caused by the earthquake.
    The overall operational capacity of MINUSTAH was severely weakened in the early stages of the disaster as its personnel, including Canadian police officers, were also victims of the devastation. They lost friends and housing and suffered from food and water shortages. Despite these limitations, during the response phase of the disaster, Canadian UNPOLs responded with tremendous courage and resilience. Given the scale of losses suffered by the Haitian National Police, MINUSTAH security forces focused their effort on supporting the operational capacity of the HNP to maintain security and public order during the emergency.
    Canadian police officers assisted by rescuing victims from collapsed buildings, by providing first aid, by delivering humanitarian aid, by conducting security patrols, and by escorting aid organizations as they arrived in Port-au-Prince. Outside of their duties with MINUSTAH, and under these exceptional circumstances, Canadian police officers also provided additional security at the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince and provided security escorts to Canadian victims being repatriated to Canada.

  (1540)  

[Translation]

    The ability of our police officers to respond so quickly and professionally was supported by the Canadian Forces, which provided transportation of relief supplies and personnel to Haiti, as well as logistical support on the ground within the first 48 hours of the event.

[English]

     By January 19, 2010, the UN Security Council had increased the overall capacity levels of MINUSTAH to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction, and stability efforts. Since the earthquake, the police component has nearly doubled from its pre-earthquake numbers.
     In support of this, Canada increased its numbers by funding the deployment of an additional 50 police officers under the Haiti reconstruction program, with funding from the international assistance envelope crisis pool.
    Canadian UNPOLs continue to contribute significantly to the recovery process. With the displacement of more than 1.3 million people to internally displaced persons camps, the focus of police activity has shifted to protection of those locations, especially for the most vulnerable.
    Canadian police officers are a valuable resource for MINUSTAH, as many are bilingual and some even speak Creole. During the past year they have assisted with the development of community policing programs as well as patrolling within these camps.
     As my Correctional Service Canada colleague will undoubtedly confirm, following the earthquake the security situation was further complicated by the escape of over 5,000 prisoners from Haiti's prison system. Canadian police officers were instrumental in the development of the criminal intelligence unit, tasked with assisting the Haitian National Police in recapturing the escaped prisoners and creating a database of the prisoners. This information also assisted the RCMP here in Canada in identifying those wishing to immigrate to Canada fraudulently.
     Although not part of our contribution to MINUSTAH, I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight another RCMP-led initiative during the disaster. For the first time in a disaster response, a multi-agency disaster victim identification team was deployed to Haiti to help identify Canadian victims of the earthquake for repatriation back to Canada or for burial in Haiti. The disaster victim identification team's response in Haiti demonstrated the success that can be achieved with a whole-of-government approach. This can be improved through continued disaster victim identification training and coordinated policies and procedures, with the goal of developing an integrated national and international response capability.
    At the time of the earthquake there were 90 Canadian police officers deployed to MINUSTAH. Today there are 137, and they continue to mentor and guide their Haitian National Police counterparts through one of the most challenging periods in their country's history.

[Translation]

    I would like to take this opportunity to note the recent appointment of Chief Superintendent Marc Tardif as Police Commissioner for MINUSTAH. This is a significant achievement for both Marc and Canadian police.

[English]

    In closing, while the RCMP and other Canadian police officers faced numerous challenges after the earthquake, the experience underscored our ability to rapidly and effectively respond to the disaster. It also demonstrated the resilience, courage, and leadership of our police officers in the face of such overwhelming situations.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Cabana.
    We'll move to Mr. Maltby. The floor is yours, sir.
     Good afternoon, Mr. Chair and honourable committee members. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Correctional Service of Canada's contributions and efforts in Haiti.
    Every day across Canada, over 17,000 CSC employees work around the clock at 57 correctional institutions, 16 community correctional centres, and 84 parole offices, to help our citizens feel safe. On an average day, CSC is responsible for approximately 13,800 federally incarcerated inmates and 8,700 offenders in the community.
    The correctional expertise of CSC staff members is well recognized internationally. As such, the service continues to participate in international humanitarian and capacity-building efforts to regions where there is a need for our employees' knowledge and skill set. As you well know, one of these areas is Haiti.
    CSC has been active in the country since the mid-1990s, when CSC experts were deployed through the United Nations and Haitian correctional officers were trained in CSC facilities here in Canada. In 2004, we participated in a UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations assessment mission in Haiti. In 2007, the service entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade that facilitated the deployment of CSC officials to the United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH.
    Since 2007, CSC's contributions to MINUSTAH have involved improving local prison conditions by recommending and supervising infrastructure projects and promoting international human rights standards. CSC experts also mentor, train, and provide advice to prison staff at all levels, from front-line correctional officers to wardens and national authorities. They've also contributed to the development and delivery of a correctional training program for new Haitian recruits.
    Sadly, as we are all well aware, in January 2010 the country suffered a devastating earthquake that inflicted major damage and resulted in innumerable casualties to local citizens, as well as our MINUSTAH colleagues. The seven CSC staff members who were in Haiti at the time were fortunate enough to escape serious harm. Of the 17 prisons in Haiti, eight were damaged directly as a consequence of the earthquake or by riots and fires post-quake. Of these eight, four were partially emptied, while the other four were totally vacated. About half of the total prison population escaped.
    Following the earthquake, CSC staff in Haiti drew upon their expertise to assist in the development of an identification process of prisoners that could be utilized across the Haitian prison correctional system. This became very important following the earthquake to identify the recaptured prisoners. This process included collaboration with the UNPOL, the United Nations police, which also includes our colleagues from the RCMP.
    Furthermore, during this period, CSC officials provided crucial front-line staffing relief to prison guards, as many of those Haitian staff did not report for work, primarily because they had lost their families, their homes, or both. Our staff also advocated for prisoners to have fresh air on a daily basis, and ensured that food and water were made available, which, as you can well imagine, was no small task considering that the need everywhere was great.
    In February 2010, a post-disaster needs assessment was launched in Port-au-Prince, and the service was asked to participate and provide technical expertise. As a result, the CSC Ontario regional deputy commissioner was responsible for the corrections component of this assessment. Following this, CSC drafted a report that highlighted challenges and constraints both pre- and post-earthquake, and provided short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations.
    Last April, CSC also sent a structural engineer to Haiti for two weeks to evaluate the structure of the prisons that were damaged in the earthquake and to help establish a priority list for infrastructure review and repair.
    CSC staff in Haiti have also assisted local prison officials in dealing with prison riots, which Haitian authorities for the most part were not accustomed to. Specifically, two CSC staff members were able to use their expertise in crisis management to diffuse a riot at Cap-Haïtien prison before it escalated beyond control.
    Following this, our locally deployed staff helped to develop a manual of contingency plans to establish directives on such crises as hostage-takings, escapes, riots, natural disasters, and external attacks. Furthermore, last month CSC also welcomed five Haitian correctional officials to our staff college here in Laval, Quebec, to participate in a week-long crisis management training course.
    CSC currently has an expanded MOU with the Department of Foreign Affairs, which allows the service to deploy up to 25 employees to Haiti. At this time we have 16 correctional staff deployed as part of our contingent.

  (1545)  

     On this note, I'd like to inform the honourable committee members that when our commissioner sent out an internal message to all of our staff immediately following the earthquake, asking for assistance to increase the support being provided to Haiti's prison sector, more than 1,400 responses were submitted. This is a testament that speaks to the commitment and dedication of CSC employees across Canada and their desire to use their expertise to help others in need.
    In Haiti and in Canada our staff continue to give personally and professionally to the Government of Canada's overall efforts to help rebuild the country, post-earthquake.
    Mr. Chair, I'd like to restate how proud CSC is of the work that staff members have been undertaking in Haiti and their ability to rise to the many challenges of dealing with this devastating situation.
    Thank you again for the opportunity to share with you the contributions CSC has made to the humanitarian and capacity-building efforts in Haiti. I'd be happy to welcome any questions you have.

  (1550)  

    Thank you, Mr. Maltby.
    We'll start with Dr. Patry for seven minutes.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much, Mr. Allison. Messrs. Cabana and Maltby, thank you very much for being here this afternoon. I am really glad you're with us.
    My first question is for Mr. Cabana.
    In 2006, the Haitian National Police Reform Plan pointed out that the country's serious safety issues had been made worse by the problematic relations between the Haitian National Police and the public. It was also stated that the lone institution responsible for the country's safety was reputed to be corrupt and to endanger human rights.
    That is what the plan stated in 2006. How would you describe the progress made by the Haitian National Police today? Is the police force currently effective? Is the training provided within the national police force effective? How long does the training last? After their training, how many Haitian police officers will work for the Haitian police rather than for foreign companies in the private sector?
    Afterwards, I will have some questions for Mr. Maltby.
    Thank you very much for your questions.
    I might ask you to repeat some parts of your question because it has several components.
    Regarding your remarks about the report, that is in fact what the report stated. A public opinion analysis published in 2009, some time before the earthquake, showed that 70% of Haitians found that there had been positive changes within the police force.
    At that time, the police force recruitment efforts had resulted in, on average, 20,000 job applications. So, there was a lot of interest. Being a police officer was obviously seen as a solid job.
    Since the earthquake, there have not been many changes in terms of public safety. That was an issue before the earthquake and it still is an issue. However, the situation has not worsened, which can probably be attributed to the fact that there has been a significant increase in MINUSTAH staff.
    Before the earthquake, I believe that there were about 2,200 foreign police officers in the country. Following the earthquake, the United Nations' involvement increased, and over 4,300 police officers were on site. This helped maintain a certain stability in terms of public safety.
    I realize now that there are certain parts of your question I have not answered. Do you—
    Yes. I wanted to know whether the police officers' training is effective and how long it lasts.
    I cannot tell you how long the training lasts because I know nothing about that. Regarding effectiveness, the training is as effective as we could hope for, given the circumstances. Of course, the criteria used for training Haitian police officers does not compare to what is used currently for our police officers here, in Canada.
    All the training components have been revised. Canadian police officers are participating in this and are responsible for the training. National police candidates will go through a selection process to ensure that they possess high ethical standards. Some people will be weeded out through this process.
    Following the training, a team that had existed prior to the earthquake will be reinserted as soon as stability has been achieved to monitor the graduate cadets from the national police academy in order to ensure that the standards are maintained.

  (1555)  

    Thank you.
    Mr. Maltby, MINUSTAH head, Mr. Edmond Mulet, said on the American television program Frontline that the situation in prisons and detention centres was beyond horrifying and that people were forced to live in conditions that blatantly violate human rights. I think that he said that each prisoner had 58 centimetres of space, that they could not even sit or lie down and had to stand, packed like sardines in the cells.
    Realistically speaking, what can be done to resolve the prison overcrowding issue in Haiti?

[English]

     There are a couple of challenges in Haiti in terms of the population. Current statistics, basically, are saying that approximately 5,700 to 5,800 inmates currently reside in the prisons, which have a capacity of about, I would say, 3,000. The challenge right now, as it has always been in the Haiti prisons, is the issue of the remand population. Haiti has always remained at around 80%. There were times, I would say probably about two years ago, when we were almost at 90% or 95%.
     Again, the challenges, I would say, are very systemic. One is partly access to courts, to judges, to investigations, and to evidence. The other would be just an inability, like in any other impoverished and underdeveloped country, to have good records and good maintenance in terms of databases and information. A question we posed at one point to the Haitian prison administration, in terms of the incarceration rate and the number of individuals, was whether they should remain incarcerated. I don't think there's an assumption that those individuals should not be incarcerated. The challenge is that they haven't had a chance to have their day before court.
    You have thirty seconds.
    I have a short one.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    You talked about justice. What do you think about the independence of the justice system in Haiti?
    About the justice system in Haiti?

[English]

    It is a broad one.
    I can't speak as an expert on justice in Haiti. It wouldn't be the area of focus for us. I do know that we've tried to make significant efforts, Canada has, in investing in justice reform. The challenge, like in any other country, I think, is that justice and access to justice is something that is an extremely long-term effort that requires long-term investment. I think the challenge in creating a culture that provides access, for those individuals incarcerated, to appropriate justice is something that I think is a rock that's very difficult to move.
    Thank you, Dr. Patry.
    We'll go to Mr. Dorion.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Cabana, Mr. Maltby, thank you for being here and clarifying things for us.
    I would like to continue along the lines of what my Liberal colleague was saying.
    I visited Haiti last April and had an opportunity to see the Canadian-built prison. If I remember correctly, the prison is located in Léogâne or not too far from it. This isn't a place I would want to visit for more than an hour. Beds and all furniture are made out of concrete. We know that these facilities will be grossly overcrowded. I assume that this is already the case in the prison I just mentioned. Is it already being used? When I visited, the construction seemed to be far along.
    Are you talking about the prison in Léogâne?
    Yes. I am talking about the prison built by Canada.
    Are you talking about Croix-des-Bouquets? That one is not yet open. We are hoping to be able to open it and start taking in prisoners as of next fall. We are currently assessing the situation together with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
    I can tell you that it is no Club Med.
    No, not at all.
    Mr. Maltby, you said that about half the prison population escapes. When we were in Haiti as part of the mission organized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, some NGOs on site told us that, in Haiti, arbitrariness was completely prevalent in imprisonment cases and a good number of prisoners are forgotten in prison. Even if they have already served their sentence, they remain in prison because their file is missing or because the government is not interested in releasing them for whatever reason.
    There were riots and fires in the earthquake's aftermath, and files disappeared. Were you sure that the people you were arresting were supposed to be in prison? What did you base your arrests on?

  (1600)  

[English]

     I'll respond in English, if you don't mind. It's a bit of a complicated question.
    That has been an extremely incredible challenge in terms of rebuilding those case files. As for the case files, while we do have databases, or the corrections department in Haiti has electronic databases, much of this is held in paper form. It is true there were a number of disturbances and escapes that resulted in the destruction of a wide variety of case files. To be honest with you, I don't think it can be ascertained at this point as to how many of those individuals who were originally released or escaped have been recaptured.
    I don't know if you have other information at this point.
    Maybe I could provide something based on our own records. As I mentioned during my opening comments, there was a database. A criminal intelligence unit was created and a database in support of the unit was created. That was to use the remaining records and try to collect as much intelligence as was available within the different Haitian government agencies, to get a sense of who had escaped and to assist the Haitian national police in recapturing some of the escapees. Based on the numbers that we have been provided with, it was in excess of 5,600 who escaped, and more than 800 have been recaptured. It's not a large number, by any stretch of the imagination.
    Out of the 5,600, based on the data that we have, there were 44 who would have been considered dangerous offenders, and out of those, 21 have been recaptured. The database was being used to try to confirm the identity of the individuals.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair. My colleague has a question.
    Thank you very much. I will continue over the next two minutes.
    First, I would like to emphasize all the work you did when the earthquake struck. You were front-line respondents, and that work requires a lot of courage and daring.
    A year and a few months later, how are the UN stabilization efforts in Haiti being coordinated among soldiers, police officers, civilian staff, counsellors and human rights and rule of law experts? How has all this been done while taking into consideration the events that are currently unfolding? For instance, elections were held last Sunday. You also have to deal with refugee camps that are housing many people. We are constantly being reminded that conditions are still difficult, that there is still a lot of violence and that women and children are most vulnerable to that violence.

[English]

    If you could do it in around 30 seconds. Sorry to do that to you.
    In 30 seconds, we're doing the best we can.

[Translation]

    That is a great question. A lot of work is being done on site. The camp situation is a reality with which MINUSTAH must deal daily. Specialized teams have been created to patrol camps 24/7. These patrols are on at the seven largest camps. The other 70 or so camps are patrolled periodically.
    Programs have also been implemented to educate camp residents on how to better protect themselves and what to do when confronted with violence or abuse. We have also implemented specialized training for the local police to teach them how to attend to the needs of those who are most vulnerable in these camps and what they need to do when a complaint is submitted.

  (1605)  

[English]

    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Goldring, seven minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
     I want to thank you very much for the excellent work your forces have been doing over the past years, particularly during the extremely trying time since the earthquake. Also, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who died. I know from my own experience with a little bit of police work that it's family with you people.
    I want to talk about the prison system. When I was there in 2006, even at that time, it was said that 80% of the prison population was provisionally detained. I talked to some who had never had charges laid even after being in there for two years. What you're saying is that situation probably can't change until they get the infrastructure going on many other things. Had that not changed since the 2006 period up to the earthquake? That number really didn't move?
     No. Actually that number has remained fairly constant, and prior to the earthquake I would have said it was a fair bit more dire in terms of almost being at 90%.
    Another factor that I was given at that time, in 2006, was they said there was a requirement for vetting the top 25% of the national police force because they were involved in corrupt tendencies. That was in 2006 too. Was that ever done?
    Yes and no. The plan was implemented. There were over 7,000 files. First of all, the workforce was identified within the Haitian National Police. There were 7,000 files that were opened. Those files were being investigated by a vetting team that was composed of the Haitian National Police as well as UNPOL, so a Canadian police officer. In fact, the person who is responsible for the team is a Canadian.
    They managed, pre-earthquake, to vet, for lack of a better term, 3,500 of the Haitian National Police. Unfortunately, a lot of those records for the remaining 3,500 were destroyed. It was an electronic record and a hard copy that were destroyed in the earthquake. I guess a little over one-third of the workforce of the national police was vetted. The remaining records were destroyed. There are efforts currently ongoing to try to recover some of the electronic data to be able to reconvene the exercise.
    The United Nations force, the military there at the time...there was still a problem with the red zone at that time. You couldn't go into the red zone. It was a high-risk area. As a matter of fact, even with the armoured vehicle that we were in, they rode through there at high speed with sirens going. Has that situation eased up a bit, or is that under control, relatively?
    Well, it's under relative control. The red zones are accessible. Actually, I visited Haiti last June and I went on patrols in the red zone. They are no longer patrolling probably in the same types of armoured vehicles as you were ferried around in. We actually stopped and exited the vehicles in some locations. So the security situation did get a little better.
    Would you characterize it such that since 2006, up until the earthquake, there had been good progress made on many of these issues?
    There was progress being made on these issues.
    I visited the prison there too in Port-au-Prince. How do you characterize it? Before the earthquake it was a disaster, and then the earthquake, I understand, damaged it. They would have 70 men in a small room, lying in there like cordwood, with a little path in between them and a bucket in the corner. They're in there from I think it was five o'clock or seven o'clock at night until the morning. They were just deplorable circumstances.
    Was that prison totally destroyed, or are you using that prison again, or parts of that prison?

  (1610)  

    It wasn't totally destroyed. Components of it were. It is still being used. I think at the time you were there, and probably about a year later, it was sitting at 4,500 to 5,000 inmates, I would say, approximately. I think the latest figures I have show it at about 3,000. So it is significantly reduced. Part of that is because of lack of infrastructure. I would assume that the conditions remain fairly similar.
    MINUSTAH had developed, and continues to have, a team directly attached to that prison itself. When I went there in 2008, and then again in 2009, while the conditions were the same, you were seeing much more prisoner movement. They were out in the yards much more. They had much more access to air, water, food--all of that.
    Again, there was slight progress probably from what you saw, but progress at that point. With the collapse of the infrastructure, I actually can't say as to the conditions currently. I would imagine they are very similar to what you looked at.
    One minute.
    One of the comments that has been made about the United Nations forces there is that many of them lack the language, lack the French, and by being military they lack the kinds of policing skills that you would employ for riot control or for people control. Has any of that been modified at all? What is the nature of the United Nations troops there now? Have they got more who can speak the local language or with whom you are more comfortable as police to be your supporters in controlling crowds?
     I can't speak for the military. I do know that the current strength of the corrections component is just under 100 staff members, and I would say the majority of them at this point are French speaking. In corrections they tend to typically deploy staff from...a lot of them come from the French-speaking African countries. So I've been lucky enough within the corrections component to have almost exclusively French officers.
    At that time, the deployment from the policing wasn't hitting that 100 rate. I think it was 65 or 70 deployed. What is it today?
    For Canadian policing?
    Yes.
    Today, as we speak, there are 137.
    There are. So that's a full deployment then.
    That's pretty close to a full deployment, yes.
    Thank you, Mr. Goldring.
    I'll move over to Mr. Dewar for the last question in the first round.
    Thank you, Chair, and thank you to our guests. Along with others, I want to again express condolences for the loss of Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Coates. I think we were all taken by that. We were taken by all the deaths, but when it was people who were serving, who had served with our nation's emblem on it, it really did hit home. I certainly know that in the local area.
     Maybe for the policing aspect first, one of the things that we have looked at in this committee, and generally some of us have looked at, is the innovation in terms of policing. We're always innovating here in terms of how it's done. Every community is different. Community-based policing is something that has been innovated in the last while.
     I note when we have sent people overseas, we have provided police women to help train. I'm thinking now of Sudan--as a matter of fact Darfur. I'm just wondering where women fit into this rubric. Do we have women training at this point, and if so, how many? Could you tell us a bit more about that, if there is any of it going on?
    Absolutely. Actually, thank you very much. It's an excellent question again.
    Women play a very significant and important role in our deployment. Actually, Canada, up until very recently was the country that was providing the most women police officers. Since between February 2009 and this past February, we have deployed 34 French-speaking women police officers.
    To go back to Madam Deschamps' question, the UN actually appointed one of them, Sylvia De Sousa, from the Montreal Police to develop specifically a program to deal with gender violence within the camps. So Canadian women police officers play a very important role.

  (1615)  

    I'm glad to hear you mention that, in particular, looking at gender violence. As we heard, part of the concern coming out of the aftermath of the earthquake was around gender violence. There was some news reporting on that.
    It sounds like this is a bit nascent, the appointment of a Canadian by the UN. Is their role to train women as well as to look at community-based solutions and service to women directly?
    Actually, it's very much both. The role was to develop a specific specialized UN training module that would be used, or is being used actually, to train women police officers who are being deployed in support of the UN mission, MINUSTAH.
    Another component was also an outreach to the female population within the camps to provide them with enhanced awareness. The other component, which I spoke about, was increasing the abilities of the local police force in how to resolve and deal with some of these gender violence issues. The program or the initiative was so successful that the UN now will be implementing that training module for all missions.
     I know there's some speculation around here that we might not get this report done because of an election, but this is important for us, as we study this, to have as evidence for recommendations.
     I think one of the recommendations we'd like to look at is enhancing that program, about which I think you've given evidence it has worked in light of the UN recognition. I know Canada has innovated here, and I mentioned Sudan, and obviously there's a bigger need for this. Would you agree?
    A/Commr Mike Cabana: Yes, I agree.
    Mr. Paul Dewar: Okay.
    Maybe on the other side of things, the corrections side or companion...in terms of the same type of question, do we know how many women are incarcerated?
     I don't have a current figure, but I do have an approximate figure. One women's facility holds around 250 women at this point. In some of the more regional facilities there are a small number of women who would be housed in male facilities, but the majority of them would be in Pétionville, which is the female institution. So you're looking at about 300 right now; you might have another 100 to 150, I would say, within the other regions.
    Do we have Canadian women who are training?
    Absolutely, our contingent of 16 is almost half women, to be honest with you.
    Okay.
    The other contributing countries don't quite meet the same ratio, but last I heard, a significant number of women are working as part of the correctional unit.
    Just a question about coordination. It's always difficult. I remember when I was in the Congo, looking at the UN peacekeeping mission there and looking at the number of different countries, they literally can't speak to each other, and they have different practices, etc. But in terms of coordination, are there some issues there that we should be aware of, things that need to be tightened? Their whole issue right now is about governance; everyone is waiting for a government, quite literally. In terms of how things are coordinated on the ground, is there a need for more coordination? If so, do you have recommendations on how that could be improved?
    Do you mean coordination within the unit itself?
    Absolutely.
    Or most different UN agencies, or both?
    Both, but I'm thinking about where you do your work. If you want to give a wider view, fine.
    I'll be honest with you, I would say pre-earthquake there was coordination between UN agencies, and the different areas of the corrections piece were somewhat fractured. I think the earthquake probably reunited a lot of that. From the last report we heard at a presentation from the head of the corrections unit from MINUSTAH, that coordination, particularly between the UN and the UNDP, the development program, is very strong right now. So I think while it's a tragic event, it has created a blessing in that sense.
    I would tend to agree with my colleague. Following the earthquake, there was a reorganization of the police component of MINUSTAH with a refocus on operations and coordination. There's always room for improvement, but I would say it's probably a little bit better than it was before.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Dewar.
    I think we've got time for two quick rounds.
     Ms. Brown for five minutes, and then Mr. Pearson for five minutes.

  (1620)  

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Gentlemen, thank you very much for being here.
    Mr. Cabana, I'm very proud to have a very large contingent of RCMP officers in the riding of Newmarket--Aurora. So thank you for the good work you do.
    A question to each of you, and it probably interrelates, so how you answer this I leave to your discretion.
    Mr. Cabana, you said that since 2004 over 500 Canadian police officers have been in Haiti. You said later on that under UNPOL they've assisted with the development of community policing programs. Where did you start from when you arrived there? Are there benchmarks that we've been able to create? Can you tell us about what progress we've had? Recognizing that the earthquake I'm sure has interrupted a great deal of that, could you talk about where we're at with that?
    Mr. Maltby, you said that the correctional expertise of CSC staff members is well recognized internationally. I wonder if you could tell us why. What is it specifically about the Canadian expertise that is making a change in Haiti? Are we having an influence? Other actors are participants there, I'm sure. Do we have the lead on this?
    In terms of why CSC's reputation is what it is internationally, I think we strike a balance here in Canada for our prison perspective. One is between humane treatment of inmates, offenders, prisoners, whatever you want call them, and the other is the whole notion around reintegration and rehabilitation. For a lot of jurisdictions the balance isn't the same as it would be here in Canada.
    Part of the challenge and part of what I think works in Haiti, or seems to work, is what we call here in Canada dynamic security. Being able to be in the prison population, being able to walk among them, working in the cells, finding out what's going on, having a bit of an understanding of intelligence--humanizing, for lack of a better term, the whole prison experience.
    It's a difficult thing to do in Haiti. Is progress being made? I know prior to the earthquake there definitely was. Infrastructure and numbers notwithstanding, I'm sure that continues. I think we have a significant amount of leadership in the UN mission, partly because the leader of the correctional team is a Canadian correctional staff member. She definitely has provided a significant amount of leadership there.
    The other thing is we do have a long-standing history with Haiti. The head of the administration, as well as a number of his senior managers, spent a fair bit of time with us in the late 1990s and 2000 learning about the Canadian way to do corrections. So I think we are providing leadership and a bit of an edge there.
     In terms of community policing, you're right about the difficulties in implementing community policing. But we cannot forget the fact that because of the position we occupy in mission, we're able to influence the training syllabus of the Haitian National Police. The community policing concept has been in existence in Canada for many, many years. Over the course of those years we have developed a certain expertise in how to implement it, and it was a matter of transposing that to the training regime within the HNP.
    As far as the benchmark and being able to measure, there is no specific benchmark to the implementation of community policing; the benchmarks are more in line with the reform plan from 2006.
    Is there an acceptance of the Canadian pedagogy of policing? Are they willing to take that on?
    They seem to be. I'm not aware of any issues that have surfaced.
    The training approach and the policing approach have not changed since the earthquake, and it was accepted before. It actually seems to be making small steps, which seem to be making some difference.
    Of course our government is committed to building a police training facility in Haiti, and I know the negotiations for a contract are under way, so it is in the future. I'm sure that's going to be of assistance to you in the work you're doing.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.

  (1625)  

    Thank you.
    Mr. Pearson.
    Briefly, I have one major question, but I appreciated what Mr. Goldring and Mr. Dewar said in our expression of sympathy to you. I thought they were quite eloquent in what they said, and I hope you realize that, as a committee, we mean that. We thank you very much for all the work you've done.
    My question is about the camps. I think you said there were about 70.
    There are in excess of 70 camps.
    Right. In my own experience, often in the camps there is a problem with gangs. Then if it goes on for any lengthy period of time, those gangs become somewhat connected with larger institutes of crime that have been around for much longer.
    It creates real difficulty for women, especially in the camps. I wonder if you have seen that. Has there been a problem with that, or are those connections there?
     I can't speak to whether we've seen an increase specifically attributable to gangs. Clearly, following the creation of the camps there was a significant increase in crime. Now whether the crime can be attributed to gangs or not, I don't know. I can't speak to that.
    But as part of the community policing there were initiatives that were implemented to increase the policing presence and to try to mitigate, as much as possible, the presence of criminals or any criminal groups within those camps.
    Okay, that's all I need.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Thank you very much.
     I want to thank our witnesses for taking time to be here today.
    In terms of what's going on, apparently we have a vote at 4:52.
    Mr. Reid is back.
    They had a quick motion. I've had a number of members come to me on the subcommittee who wanted us to pass—this is a different motion than we've talked about. I'd like to bring Mr. Reid up to speed for five minutes so we can pass this motion, a recommendation to the House, and then we should head over there.
    Thanks, again, to our witnesses.
    Mr. Reid, you have a motion from your committee that you want us to bring forward in the House, so would you talk to it very quickly?
     I'll be very brief, given the time constraints. I think this is very non-controversial. There's a really extraordinary tragedy under way in Tanzania. The subcommittee voted unanimously to deal with this after hearing testimony about this.
    In Tanzania, albinos—actually the preferred term nowadays is “persons with albinism”. There are two things. Number one, for reasons that I actually can't explain—it would be interesting to find out what they are—there is a higher proportion of people who suffer from albinism in Tanzania than in most other parts of the world. For other reasons that are cultural, albinism has come to be associated with certain kinds of magical powers, and if one is a witch doctor, one achieves use of this is by taking the body parts of a person who has albinism and using them for magic-related purposes. As a result, people who suffer from albinism are murdered, sometimes merely dismembered—an arm will be chopped off a living person, that sort of thing. Sometimes they're actually killed, and their body parts are distributed. There's a fairly well-developed network for distributing body parts. This is an attempt to draw this to greater public attention.
    The man from our country who has led the attempt to draw attention to this has been very effective, and I think Canada can play a meaningful role in assisting in bringing this to world attention. I should mention the Tanzanian government is not involved in oppression; they are appalled by this and embarrassed by it and want to do what they can to stop it, but they have limited resources. Canada's intervention, or Canada's signalling its views on the subject, would be, I think, very useful.

  (1630)  

    Do we have approval, then, to bring this motion...?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: I'll make sure it gets read in the House tomorrow.
    Thank you, Mr. Reid. Thank you very much.
    Thank you very much.
    We have bells here. Can we hear from our ambassador for five minutes?
    Sure.
    We're moving fast today. We're going to get five minutes from the ambassador and then we'll head over.
    Just so we understand, I do not believe we are going to make it back because of where the votes are, but we should hear the testimony anyway and then move on from there.
    We'll get the witnesses to the table. We're only going to have about five minutes, and I apologize for that, but I figure that five minutes is better than none at all.
    Ambassador, I apologize. We do not have a lot of time. We have votes. If you could take just five minutes, just to get some things on the record, then we are going to have to go to our votes. We're probably not going to able to make it back. Since you are here, we thought we should at least try to do that, but we have to head over to the House. I'm just going to turn it over to you right away.
     I apologize for the short timeframe that you have, but as I said, five to seven minutes would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, and thank you for working with us.
    Can I speak in French or English no problem? Both of them?
    French or English, whatever you choose. Most definitely.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Members of the committee, at the outset, I would like to thank you very much for having provided me with this opportunity to brief you on the recent developments in Sudan, especially on the recently held referendum on the self-determination for Southern Sudan, and to discuss the future relations between Canada and Sudan.
    I also want to express my appreciation and gratitude for the importance your esteemed committee is attaching to the recent political developments in Sudan, in light of the recent referendum.

[English]

     May I make reference to the positive, balanced, concrete, and constructive outcome of the deliberations of your committee last December on the conduct of the referendum process and on future relations between Canada and Sudan in the post-referendum era.
    I also would like to put special emphasis on the recommendation made at the conclusion of your deliberations, in particular your recommendation that “there must be a continuing role for Canada to assist Sudan in the post-referendum period, particularly with respect to development aid and humanitarian assistance and capacity-building initiatives”. That is a long-term and whole-of-government strategy for Sudan, which includes support for North and South Sudan.
    Reference should also be made to the committee's recommendations concerning the visit of the high-level delegation, and we look forward to the visit taking place in the coming few months, before the end of the interim period.
    The international observers expressed their satisfaction and described the process as credible, free, fair, and transparent. On February 7, 2011, the final results were announced. The Sudanese president issued a decree accepting the results of the referendum. Not only did he endorse the results of the referendum, he also expressed the commitment of Sudan to be the first to recognize, as of July 9, 2011, the newly born state in South Sudan. He also pledged to render all possible technical and logistical assistance to the independent South Sudan. As to the outstanding contentious post-referendum issues, the president said they are resolved to reach an agreement on them before the end of the interim period.

  (1635)  

[Translation]

    The President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, paid special tribute to President Al Bashir for his acceptance of the outcome. He said that President Al Bashir and the National Congress Party deserve a reward. He stressed that the independence of the South was not the end of the road because we cannot be enemies. President Salva Kiir called on the Southerners to pardon the Northerners for the war victims.
    He promised to allow free movement of goods and people between the two countries and to cooperate with the Sudanese government in resolving post-referendum legal disputes. He also promised to campaign for the cancellation of Sudan's external debt and to convince Washington to lift the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.
    Mr. Chair, as you know, the American sanctions constitute an impediment to Canadian companies that wish to invest in Sudan. We would like Canada to do its best to encourage the United States to keep its promise and to lift the sanctions as soon as possible.
    Officials from the South and from the North must also agree on other sensitive issues, such as the Nile water, security, national assets, foreign debt, citizenship, and border crossings located in the Abyei region. Both parties must agree on the status of hundreds of thousands of Southerners living in the North and vice versa. President Al Bashir promised that the South Sudanese settled in the North will be protected and that their property will not be confiscated or their lives threatened.

[English]

    Following a meeting with the Sudanese president on March 6, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who heads the high-level group charged with the implementation of the CPA, stated that the president assured him that they would resume the dialogue with the leader of the SPLM without prior conditions, with a view to ironing out the outstanding post-referendum issues, including Abyei.
     On the other hand, the Sudanese president met on March 7, 2011, with South Sudan President Salva Kiir in the presence of Thabo Mbeki. They agreed to resume the dialogue on the Abyei dispute before the end of March and that a joint military force be deployed in Abyei following the immediate withdrawal from the area of the armies of the Government of Sudan and also the SPLM forces. They also agreed to implement the Kadugli agreement on Abyei and to resume Addis Ababa negotiations aimed at resolving the post-referendum issues.
    I also would like to convey the appreciation of Sudan for the outstanding contribution Canada has been extending to assist all parts of Sudan to fully implement the CPA. We also would like to express our satisfaction vis-à-vis the statement issued by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, on the result of the referendum in Sudan, with special emphasis on his pledge to assist both parties in Sudan in charting their post-referendum future.
    Notwithstanding this colossal achievement, the Government of Canada, instead of rewarding the Government of Sudan for its commitment to fully implement the CPA, which has brought to a halt the longest-running war in Africa, decided, unfortunately and to our surprise, to downgrade unilaterally the diplomatic representation with the Sudan, from ambassadorial level to chargé d'affaires, e.p. level.
     The Government of Sudan looks forward to witnessing a further enhancement of the existing bilateral relations between Sudan and Canada, and in particular looks forward to reviewing the upgrading of our diplomatic representation to the ambassadorial level in the very near future, as well as our hope that Canada will help Sudan in overcoming the post-referendum pending issues, to the benefit of both parties in Sudan and to further enhance our bilateral cooperation.
    The Government of Sudan calls upon the international community, including Canada, to assist South Sudan in the post-war reconstruction. North Sudan will spare no effort to see to it that a strong, prosperous, stable, and viable state will be established in the south. Needless to say, the more prosperous and viable that South Sudan will be, the more sustainable and comprehensive the peace that will prevail in the whole of Sudan, and the people will no longer have fears about the reigniting of the conflict in the country.

[Translation]

    I wish I could give you an elaborate historical background of the Sudanese conflict, but time constraints have made that impossible.
    However, I would say that the majority of the conflicts and civil wars in Africa are a colonial legacy. That is why we are very happy that Canada does not have any colonial background in Africa or elsewhere in the third world.
    We are talking about a time bomb that was planted during the colonial era. Not only did the colonial rule turn a number of African countries into scapegoats of a malicious policy, it also turned them into victims of organized and systematic pillaging of their natural resources and raw materials.
    The civil war in Sudan is just one of the conflicts that have devastated the continent during the post-colonial period. I would mention, among others: civil wars in Eritrea, Biafra, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire; apartheid and the minority rule in South Africa; the Ogaden War. The list goes on.
    The contemporary history of Africa tells us that, between the Berlin conference of 1885, which was marked by the scramble for and the partitioning of African territories, and the fall of the Berlin wall at the end of the 1980s, Africa went through three “plagues.” First, there was colonialism and everything that went with it, such as apartheid, the slave trade and the pillaging of natural resources. Next, there was neo-colonialism, and I will explain.
    From the end of the Second World War and all through the Cold War, the third world, and especially Africa, were the preferred battle ground for the East-West confrontation. With the build-up of the nuclear threat, the two world superpowers chose to carry out their rivalry by proxy.
    Therefore, from the end of World War II, in 1945, until the end of the Cold War, in the late 1990s, the conflicts and civil wars that took place in the third world were fueled by the East-West rivalry.
    All the conflicts that the world witnessed between 1945 and 1990 took place in the third world as a result of the polarization policy and the rivalry between the West and the East, with the exception of a few conflicts, such as: the Suez War; the tripartite aggression against Egypt; the Soviet invasion of Budapest in the late 1950s; the Prague Spring and the Czech revolt in the 1960s; the Vietnam war, from 1959 to 1975; the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s; and the U.S. invasion of Burma in the late 1980s.
    Since the fall of the Berlin wall and the breaking up of the Eastern Bloc, Africa has been emancipated from a bi-polar grip to find itself hostage to a monopolar or unipolar grip, that of the United States.

  (1640)  

[English]

     Thank you.
    I apologize once again for the timing. We have to go for a vote. We're already over time, but thank you. We have your remarks on the record.
    The meeting is adjourned.
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